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Hemangioma – Definition

February 10, 2022


There’s a lot of confusion amongst birthmarks. A lot of people assume everything is a hemangioma or everything is called a vascular birthmark. In general, you’d have to really see a specialist to figure out which is which. Hemangiomas tend to be small raised or rounder structures that are encapsulated tumors. Capillary malformations are similar to what we see on babies (stork bites) and they can actually grow into larger areas and we call them port-wine stains. Not all capillary malformations are port-wine stains. All port-wine stains are capillary malformations. We have venous malformations, which are big macrocystic globules of veins, meaning the veins don’t grow properly and they can grow into bone, into nerves. These become really, really troublesome for patients. Lymphatic malformations, similarly, are very difficult to deal with, but in general are easier than the venous malformations. Then we have the arterial venous malformations, which when they happen can cause a lot of systemic problems. Arteriovenous malformations, meaning you have arteries and veins connecting together and because of that, you end up having issues all around the body – within your liver, within your heart, and overall just blood circulation issues.

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